by Wim DeVriend
‘Does it ever get cold on the moral high ground?’
So asked one of my favorite characters, Violet Grantham of Downton Abbey. The formidable ‘dowager countess’ makes incisive points by means of short, biting questions – needless to say, all thanks to the series’ gifted script writer, Julian Fellowes.
Which is why I’m tempted to ask Larry Huss: Does it ever get cold on your moral high ground?
According to Larry’s March 2 column: “Sen. Cruz Loses His Base for Good Reason”, Ted Cruz is an excellent legal scholar, debater and attorney. Larry’s problem is that Cruz is not part of DC’s buddy system, since he had no “. . . friends or admirers in the Senate,” but became known “. . . as an orator who played fast and loose with the truth; as a back-stabber willing to sacrifice his colleagues for his own ambitions; and as an “ally” that could never be trusted.” Hence Larry’s wishful-sounding prediction that “Mr. Cruz will never be elected.”
Upon reflection, lying and backstabbing and betrayal may be apt descriptions of the treatment of the voters by Cruz’s Republican colleagues. The anger on which Cruz and Trump are feeding is their fault. As soon as they got comfortable in DC, and despite their majorities, they forgot their promises. Cruz’s refusal to go along enhances his résumé.
With regard to Cruz’s alleged dishonesty, I only have space to explore Larry’s claim that in Iowa Cruz “. . . sent his minions out to falsely tell caucus attendees that Dr. Ben Carson had withdrawn from the race and that his followers should support Mr. Cruz.”
As Larry knows, there are differences between mistakes and purposeful lies. When after Iowa Dr. Carson went home to Florida, skipping the next primary states, CNN engaged in profuse speculations. Wolf Blitzer called it “Very significant news indeed.” Two commentators on his program concluded: “Look, if you want to be President of the United States, you don’t go home to Florida. I mean, that’s bottom line. That’s the end of the story.”
This caused Cruz to conclude that Carson was dropping out, and that CNN had said so. CNN objected that “. . . at no point” it had said “Dr. Carson would suspend his campaign.” True, but they had dropped heavy hints, ripe for misinterpretation. Cruz apologized, and the Iowa vote tallies don’t seem to have been substantially affected.
In the heat of political battles, do people jump to wrong conclusions? Actually it’s expected, according to the US Supreme Court, which in free speech decisions has exempted political statements, even totally false ones, from sanctions.
The real story is that the GOP Old Boys’ Club has been on a campaign to discredit the leading candidates. That club is worried sick about its applecart being overturned by upstarts like Donald Trump and especially Ted Cruz, who has never catered to the statists and socialists in the US Congress, in whose beds the Republicans can be found whenever they think nobody’s looking.
Those GOP oligarchs want to keep their well-paid, prestigious gigs, and they see a well-educated rebel like Ted Cruz as a threat.
Today people everywhere are tired of being taken for granted by tone-deaf politicians. Their mood resembles 1989 in Eastern Europe, right before the Iron Curtain fell. All the experts were surprised when – boom! – the wall came down and there was no stopping the people, who had nothing but contempt for their entrenched leaders.
But to Larry Huss it won’t matter: “Should Mr. Cruz . . . become the Republican nominee”, he will refuse to vote for him.
But are we looking for a politician or a saint? Since the Good Book says that none is without sin, that must include all politicians. Too often our choices are between bad and worse; and by not voting for Cruz, Larry Huss will facilitate the election of the wicked witch of Chappaqua, who has told far more lies than Cruz ever thought of telling, who couldn’t be bothered about American officials being massacred in Libya, screaming: “What difference does it make?” Please, do descend from the moral heights.